There are many uses for one of these motors on your boat: Running constantly at a slow speed for a slow presentation of an artificial lure or live bait; using your trolling motor intermittently to move from one spot to another searching for schools of fish; more recently, using your motor as an anchor to keep you in one spot - or using your electronics linked to your electric motor to follow the contour of a body of water and stay at a specific depth.
How often do you plan to troll for fish by trailing lures or live bait often used for walleye, white bass, stripers, and other species. Also is good when fishing a new lake to identify bottom structure or where fish are located. Gasoline powered kicker motors are ideal for this.
If your main outboard motor is 100 HP or higher there are advantages to having a small gasoline motor for trolling sometimes called a "Kicker" motor. For reduced gas consumption and noise reduction the small 9-15 horse power gasoline "Kicker" motor is better suited. Adding a "Kicker Motor" is an additional cost but if you can afford it is a nice addition. Our last Canada trip this came in handy as we damaged our main motor and were able to use the 9.9 HP 4 stroke Mercury Kicker motor to get back home.
Three main things to remember when shopping for an electric motor: Size of your boat, where you are able to mount your trolling motor, and how you will likely use your electric motor the most. Secondly, power of thrust and cost. 75 - 80 pound thrust works well on a 20-21 foot aluminum V Body walleye boat. Your dealer will help you decide if uncertain. Cost is more for more powerful motors. Additionally cost will be more based on the motor configuration and what it will do. For example, here are some choices and going down this list gets more expensive:
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Transom mount motors sometimes are the only type of trolling motor that will easily fit on certain boats. These are perfect for use in a rented boat or on smaller lakes and ponds with smaller boats as the sole motor on board. You may have to carry with you a portable power supply.
Mounted to the bow of your boat these trolling motors are designed to move you silently short distances. Many of these types of motors now also provide an anchoring button which will by way of GPS maneuver your boat and keep it with in a very small radius to keep you hovered over a school of fish, structure on the bottom, or in a position where you can cast to a specific area on the shore.
Shown below are two of Minn Kota motors one manually deployed using a spring/hydraulic pump for ease and the second one an electric deployable motor. Both are excellent, Come in both 80lb and 112 lb thrust. They also are available with I Pilot or I Pilot Link. The Link version will hook up to a Humminbird depth finder and offer the option of following contours. Both come with a hand held unit to control the trolling motor, featuring a spot lock feature that basically anchors your boat in a specific area.
GARMIN and Lowrance have now introduced their trolling motors that will connect with their own depth finders. Garmin trolling motor is called the Force. Lowrance offers the Ghost trolling motor. Both companies utilize a brushless motor which means ultra quiet operation, minimum drag on the batteries, and more power per size than traditional trolling motors. They will also interact with their specific fish finders and provide remote controllers to control the unit as well as their version of anchoring to a specific GPS spot. Click the links below to read more.